Q&A With Nets Are Scorching, New Jersey Nets Blog | Truth About It.net

Q&A With Nets Are Scorching, New Jersey Nets Blog

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Updated: February 28, 2010
{flickr/Bari D}

{flickr/Bari D}

The last time the Wizards faced the Nets in New Jersey, Earl Boykins hit a game winner with 0.4 seconds left. The first time these two teams meet this season was the Wizards’ home opener in D.C., an old-fashioned blow out. Different times back then.

So, the Wiz are 2-0 against New Jersey this year, but haven’t faced them since the team was blown up … nor have these two teams faced since Michael Wilbon supposedly said that New Jersey would go undefeated against this current Wizards team (at the time, Josh Howard was still healthy — see the comments section of this post). Ok, so that has yet to be determined, but I will go on record saying that Wilbon is full of hot air regardless.

But in anticipation of today’s game in the Garden State (6 pm est start time), I exchanged a brief Q&A with Mark Ginocchio of the fellow TrueHoop Network blog, Nets Are Scorching.

Mark asked me two questions:

Obviously, Josh Howard’s ACL injury probably affects your answer, but overall, how do you think the Wizards fare in their big deadline trades of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood? Does Washington have any worthwhile building blocks now?

and

How much of a makeover do you expect the Wizards to go through once the season is over?

Head over to Nets Are Scorching to see my answers. In turn, Mark answered a couple of my questions, the results are below.

Well, never thought I’d be saying this, but it looks like the Nets have a brighter future (at least in terms of building blocks) than the Wizards. Who are the current guys you’d like to still see on the team when the Nets move to Brooklyn in 2012?

When you talk about the Nets future, I think any conversation has to start with Brook Lopez. After his rookie season, I think a lot of Nets fans understood that Brook was a keeper at Center, but I don’t think anyone expected him to evolve into a borderline all-star (probably a should have been all-star if the Nets weren’t so abhorrently bad this season). Other than Brook, I think Courtney Lee is starting to prove what the Nets saw in him when they acquired him from Orlando for Vince Carter. I don’t think Lee is a legit third/fourth option on a good team, but he’s a nice player to have in your rotation because he can shoot the three, has games where he’s a great defender, and is a lot better in transition than I expected him to be. From there, I would say Terrence Williams and Kris Humphries are both great, change of pace, options off the bench, and I hope the Nets continue to try and develop these two. Williams can just do so many things well – his biggest flaw is shooting, which is obviously a big issue, but I still believe he has a lot to contribute to the organization. Humphries is such a huge upgrade over the corpse of Eduardo Najera. I don’t think Hump is a starter or anything, but for the frontcourt, he’s the perfect kind of a player you want to bring into a game when you need energy and aggressiveness on the boards.

We’ll get to Devin Harris in your next question. Meanwhile, I think two of the main guys the Nets need to move away from are Yi Jianlian and Chris Douglas-Roberts. CDR may already be on the way out. It’s clear that Kiki Vandeweghe has issues with CDR’s candid personality when it comes to media interviews and Twitter. The guy just seems like too much of a hot-head to be able to stick in this league. Guys with immense talent like Rasheed Wallace or Kenyon Martin, can get away with it, but CDR is too inconsistent on offense and too lackadaisical on defense to have such a huge ego about his game. Meanwhile, I’ve been patient and patient with Yi, but I just don’t see it. He shows flashes on offense, but gets injured way too easily, has no hands, and can’t play a lick of defense. I guess he could be a worthwhile stretch the floor big-man for a team’s second unit, but the Nets organization seems so insistent on pushing Yi as some sort of potential-star and I just don’t think his game is complete enough to ever be a legit starter.

About Devin Harris … he was legitimately on the trading block, right? What’s the deal with his regression this season? Is he or is he not the point guard of the future for New Jersey? What happens if you guys land the first pick, i.e., John Wall?

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Devin Harris, and while it hasn’t been confirmed publicly, I get the sense that for most of it, Harris has been playing hurt. If you look at his numbers from the past month, Harris has resembled the all-star from last year with his numbers and shooting percentage. Interestingly enough, Harris started to turn it on after he took a few games off with a wrist injury, that was seemingly plaguing him all season. So, conclude what you got to from that, I guess. As for John Wall, if the Nets are fortunate enough to get him, I think it does make Harris expendable, but the Nets certainly don’t HAVE to trade him. The big knock on Harris is he’s too offensive minded to be a true PG in this league, but isn’t physically strong enough for the two. Wall, on the other hand, seems to be physical enough to match up at the two, but is a much better passer. So why not play them both in the backcourt together and see if they can compliment each other before moving Harris? Unless Mark Cuban wants to move half his roster for a PG again like he did with the Kidd deal a few years ago, I can’t see anybody blowing away the Nets with an offer for Harris.

Many thanks to Mark for his excellent answers. But otherwise, GO WIZARDS!

And now, some links

After the Knicks game, both Rashad Mobley of Hoops Addict and Mike Prada of Bullets Forever caught up with Shaun Livingston. I was around too, but didn’t do any writing about the subject. I did, however, take some pre-game pictures of Livingston, some of which were put on this post, some of which are below these links.

Livingston Gets Thrown Into The Fire [Rashad Mobley, Hoops Addict]

Shaun Livingston finds a temporary home [Mike Prada, Bullets Forever]

Dan Steinberg, who is one of my favorite writers webby or non-webby, absolutely killed it today. His piece on the D.C. Sports Bog, covering a topic which I’m sure I’ll be commenting on sometime in the near or far future, is entitled, “Luke Scott’s Gilbert Arenas moment” and is a must-read. So please, go ahead and do so.

{Other Links & Quotes}

-from the Knicks game.

[Craig Stouffer: Knicks 118, Wizards 116 OT - Washington Examiner]

McGee suffers from no shortage of heart or determination or willingness. But until he adds defensive discipline and toughness to his resume, there’s no reason for the opposition to run anything fancy offensively. The play, “Run at McGee and if you get blocked once, you probably won’t the second time,” is perfectly sufficient all by itself to snap New York’s eight-game losing streak.

“[McGee] has a tendency when a guy’s head up with him, and he’s facing the guy, he doesn’t want to contest those shots,” said Saunders. “He wants to try and contest from the side because there’s no contact from the side. You’re going to get hit. He’s got to learn to get more where he can take a guy head on and contest from that area.”

[Matt Kremnitzer: Blatche has huge game in Wizards loss - Krem's Sports Blog]

According to Basketball-Reference.com, since 1986-1987, only seven other players have put together games of at least 26-18-6 while playing at least 50 minutes: Michael Jordan, Joe Barry Carroll, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, and Richard Jefferson. To narrow the list even more, only two players on that list (besides Blatche) shot over 50 percent in their respective games: Jordan and Shaq.

If you check out that list, you’ll probably notice at least two things: 1) That’s a pretty impressive group of players to be mentioned with, and 2) Blatche is the youngest player to put up a game like that.

[A punch in the gut & some logical "double vision" - Born 2 Be a Redskin]

[Andray Blatche] has to learn how to pass effectively all the time out of double teams which will create open shots for his teammates.  Then his teammates need to learn how to give him the ball in the post again.  It’s a learning process.

[George Panagakos: Career night for Blatche despite Wizards loss to visiting Knicks - Washington Examiner]

One of the reasons why Harrington became a problem for the Wizards was because forward James Singleton rolled his ankle just a minute and ten seconds into the second quarter and had to leave the game (yes, another injury).  The Wizards shut Harrington out in the first quarter and Singleton led the Wizards with 3 of the team’s 6 blocks in the period.  After Singleton left the game, Harrington scored all 11 of his first half points within the second quarter.  As Harrington became a threat, David Lee, limited to only 6 points and 4 rebounds at half, began to open up.

{Livingston Pictures}